Empowerment Anthems: Five Most Inspirational Nas Songs

BY Dora Abena Dzaka October 12, 2023 8:12 PM EDT
Photo Credit: Facebook @Nas

The debate over who is rap’s best storyteller always brings up a number of well-known personalities from then and now. Slick Rick, Ghostface Killah, and The Notorious B.I.G. are frequently cited, but J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar have lately been sized up and have become worthy of the tag.

However, Nasir Jones has been described by many as the Hemmingway, Shakespeare, and William Faulkner of hip-hop. Nas is simply unique. The 50-year-old’s literary toolbox is extensive when it comes to expressing stories in a way that is incredibly motivating.

He painted pictures in some incredibly inventive ways throughout the span of 11 albums, utilizing fiction, non-fiction, personification, and even reverse chronological sequence effortlessly.

The Queens legend is known for strikingly some crazy bars in rap history and the following are five of his most inspirational tunes, which shows his influence on the genre and his commitment to elevating and encouraging his audience.

“I Can”

While Nas is perhaps not as forceful and angry as he could be in this tune, you can still tell that he is not hesitant to express his views and feelings through his words. His words have a remarkable ability to conjure up powerful imagery, and they flow effortlessly. It’s a fantastic illustration of how talented Nas is as a rapper, and in “I Can,” Nas sends a strong message to young people, highlighting the value of education and self-belief. The song is a graduation favorite that inspires listeners to strive for greatness and overcome obstacles.


The song is an introspective look at a father-daughter relationship in which the father believes he has failed. It is taken from his 2012 album. Nas received Grammy nominations due to the song striking a chord with the whole world. Nas considers parenting “daughters” and the value of setting a good example. It serves as a moving reminder of the impact that parents have on the lives of their children.

“Hate Me Now”

This song, which includes Puff Daddy, was released in 1999. Nas attempts to criticize several social classes in the song, which is marked by an aggressive tone throughout the lyrics. Although “Hate Me Now” is frequently regarded as a battle slogan, it also serves as evidence of Nas’s fortitude in the face of adversity. No matter how much hate you receive, never give up on your aspirations, is the song’s clear message.

“If I Ruled the World (Imagine That)” ft. Lauryn Hill

This timeless song with Lauryn Hill is a vivid example of what Nas would do if he had the ability to alter the course of history. It serves as a call to action, encouraging listeners to picture a better future and try to make it a reality.

“Cherry Wine” ft. Amy Winehouse

This song is a gorgeous love song with a happy twist that was written in conjunction with the late Amy Winehouse. Nas’ lyrics discuss the strength of love that endures despite obstacles.